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Full text of "Mathematical And Physical Papers - Iii"

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neighbourhood of the surface. When the solution was diluted so as to be only one-tenth of the former strength, a conspicuous fixed line, or rather band of sensible breadth, situated in the first group of fixed lines beyond H, was observed to penetrate about an inch into the fluid. On passing onwards from the band above-mentioned in the direction of the more refrangible rays, the distance that the incident rays penetrated into the fluid rapidly decreased, and thus the rapid increase in the absorbing energy of the fluid was brought into view in a part of the spectrum in which, with the stronger solution, it could not be so conveniently made out, inasmuch as the posterior surface of the space from which the dispersed light came almost confounded itself with the anterior surface of the fluid.
The high degree of opacity with regard to rays of great refrangibility which the addition of so small a proportion of sulphate of quinine is sufficient to produce in water is certainly very remarkable; nevertheless it is only what I have constantly observed while following out these researches.
19. In observing by the fourth method, the part of the spectrum to which the incident light belonged was determined sometimes by the colour, sometimes by means of the fixed lines of the spectrum. It almost always happened that there were motes enough suspended in the fluid to cause a portion of the dispersed beam to consist merely of light which had undergone ordinary reflexion. When the whole dispersed beam was analysed by a prism, the beam which consisted of light reflected from motes was separated from the rest; it was in general easily recognised by its sparkling appearance, but at any rate was known by its consisting almost wholly of light polarized in the plane of incidence, whereas the truly dispersed light was un-polarized. It consisted of course of light of definite refrangibility, the same as that of the incident light, and thus served as a fiducial line to which to refer by estimation the rcfrangibilities of the component parts of the dispersed light. Of course this part of the observation was possible only when the incident rays belonged to the visible part of the spectrum.
On moving the lens horizontally through the colours of the spectrum, in a direction from the red to the violet, it was found that the dispersion was first perceptible in the blue. When the